Will the real Conspiracy please stand up

I'm just gonna get the topic of this post out of the way before i start ranting and creating this huge build up, and then when i get to the point everyone is all "really? that's it? i thought something bad happened!"
So, in order for that to not happen, here it is: someone took our name.
There. That's all i'm pissed about, and i guess the rant could stop right here, before it even becomes a rant, but of course it won't.
So if you already know you're gonna find this pointless and tedious, feel free to quit reading right here.
The next post will contain pretty pictures and little text, and if that's your thing, i won't hold it against you.

Still here? Then let's continue.
I can't even remember how many years we've been Conspiracy Inc.
Maybe 5? Maybe 6? Maybe even 7?
It was before i was at the shop full time, and while Franz was still at the shop too, but i'm bad with timelines, so let's just say it's been a while.
And even if i don't remember when exactly we became Conspiracy Inc., i do remember the time we spent trying to come up with a name everyone could agree to; the notes with scribbles of bad suggestions and the many friends, neighbors and clients who were involved in the process.
But finally we found it, and we've stuck with it ever since.
That's not to say that i'm always happy about our choice of name.
At least a couple of times a week the phone rings and this conversation takes place:
Me: "Conspiracy Inc."
Person on the other end: "Huh? Uhm, who is this?"
Me (thinking): "Who did you call? Yeah? THEN WHO DO YOU THINK IT IS?", (but actually saying): "C-o-n-s-p-i-r-a-c-y-i-n-c, how can i help you"
So you see, it's not the smartest name ever, but it's ours and, up until recently, i thought it was at least a pretty unique one for a tattoo shop.

But then one night while i was checking our blog stats, i ended up on a search engine i don't normally use, and i noticed something.
"Conspiracy Ink."
I've complained about this before, people spell our name wrong all the time, and everyone from friends to magazines have been doing that for years, but this time there was a result for the misspelled Conspiracy.
In fact, there were not one, but two.
Two shops are now named Conspiracy Ink Tattoo.
One since 2008 and one more recently since July this year.
One in Australia and one in the States.
Both obviously have websites, one of them is even on facebook, flickr and twitter.

Now, i know what you're probably thinking and i have thought that myself: "couldn't it be a coincidence?", and the answer is "sure, of course it could and maybe it is".
People come up with the same ideas at the same time all the time, and of course that totally could have happened here too... twice.
But do i think that's the case here? Not really.
These other shops may be located very far away from us physically, but on the internet we're all neighbors, and if you're somewhat active and visible online, which we are and apparently they are too, it doesn't really matter where you are in the real world.
And for years we've been doing conventions, had work in various magazines, participated in art shows, printed stickers and t-shirts, been active on myspace, blogger, twitter, and, for a second there, even facebook.
We represent.
And the tattooers who work at our shop are not exactly unknown, so i'd say there's a good chance that people in the same industry could have heard of us.

So what's my problem? Well, my problem is that it's rude!
And what am i gonna do about it?
Besides this, probably not a damn thing.

I guess this discovery just comes at a time when i've been thinking a lot about respect, or lack thereof, i should say.
When we first moved to our new shop i was so worried about offending people who had shops in the same zip code, including our former partner.
I even worried that our neighbors across the lake felt that waving distance, even if it is across a body of water, was a little too close.
But since we're a private studio, more so now than ever before, on a small, kind of anonymous street, we decided that it was probably ok.

But since we moved in March, two studios have opened in our area, one of them literally around the corner from us.
When i first discovered the one right around the corner i got a little pissed... ok, i got mad as hell and considered bagging one of Lucifer's little poops and lighting the bag on fire outside their door, but i have since calmed down and accepted its location. Mostly due to the fact that i don't actually believe the guy even knew we had moved to that area in the first place, and even our clients have trouble finding us at times, so who can really blame the guy?
But the whole idea of opening up shops really close to other shops, something that was not even a possibility a few years ago, is a reality now, and we didn't get the worst of it.

A new shop opened recently in the center of Copenhagen.
No news there, i'm sure it happens all the time, and we're usually too busy with our own shit to pay attention to the local scene, so it's all good.
Except in this case, it isn't.
This shop opened right next to an established studio.
Not down the street, or in the same area, but right next to it, and when i first heard, i couldn't believe it.
No one could be that rude, right?
Apparently we've entered the age of i-don't-give-a-fuck, and that includes not giving a fuck about common professional courtesy and good manners.
And for a person like myself who actually does give a fuck, behavior like that can be hard to accept.
And this new place is apparently really bad too.
Home-parties-and-staph-infections-bad, or so i've heard.
I have never used this blog to air personal beefs, or write shit about other shops, and that's why you won't find any links to the shops i'm referring to in this post, or names of the local shops here in Copenhagen.
This is because i believe in internet courtesy, and i try not to say and do anything online that i wouldn't be prepared to say to a persons face, and seeing how i hate confrontations, there's a lot i wouldn't say and therefore i don't (that was a ridiculously long sentence, and i'm not even sure if it worked, but i'll just leave it and move on...)
But if anyone would like to know the location of this studio, so they don't accidentally take their business there, i'd be happy to inform them via email instead of a public forum.

As you may have picked up on, i take internet behavior quite seriously, almost as seriously as real life behavior.
I believe that if we choose to live out part of our lives online, which most of us do, the same basic manners have to apply here as they do in real life.
I choose to let a lot of shit slide, due to the fact that if you get all riled up about every idiot behaving badly on the internet, you'd have a full time job right there.
And a stressful one at that.
So i try not to get worked up about the little things, and i think i'm getting pretty good at just ignoring dumb stuff.
But finding out that someone did what is basically the internet equivalent of opening up a shop right next to ours, and i believe name plagiarism is just that, just pissed me off.

This post is all the attention i'm gonna give this subject.
I'm not even sure it deserved a rant like this and to be honest, i'm already looking forward to posting about cake and tattoos and taxidermy again!
You're not likely to find any words on this subject on Allan's blog either.
He's much better than me at ignoring shit, and when i first told him about the other shops he barely shrugged.
You'll probably never hear him bitch about anything as petty as this on his blog, but there's a lot of shit i choose to care about, so he doesn't have to.
That's a good partnership and that's a good marriage, so there.

In conclusion...
I don't know what this rant was supposed to accomplish exactly.
I think i just needed to vent, and blogs are good for that, aren't they?
I know for certain that i am not looking for for friends to leave angry comments on my behalf, nor will i approve comments about what a dumb bastard i am for even caring, i'm well aware of that already!
More drama is the last thing anyone needs, and i'm already worried about crossing the fine line between a personal rant and a full on internet war on words.
I apologize in advance if this has left anyone feeling bored or offended, but getting it out has certainly made me feel better!

Comments are open (with moderation) and anyone who has an opinion one way or the other are welcome to participate.

On a lighter note, here's Maru sliding into a box...